What books should a child read before they leave Primary School?
Posted by watseducation
It pretty much goes with saying that Reading is an essential life-skill.
As teachers it is always a focus and something that we endeavour to ensure that all children have access to good quality texts and we encourage them to read regularly.
The New Curriculum states:
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
And to be fair much of that sounds quite reasonable.
There are several debates I really don’t want to start in this post and will try to avoid them:
- What is ‘good’ reading?
- How should reading be taught?
- Who is more responsible for reading, Home or School?
- How much should children read? and all age related themes.
- Individual Reading vs Guided Reading vs Shared Reading
- Fiction, Non-Fiction or Poetry? Which is most valuable?
There are more, but as I am not discussing those, let’s move on!
So with all the controversial stuff aside; I would like this blog post to be a point of discussion.
What books do you think a Primary School child should have read or have been read
or shared before they leave Primary School?
I have set up a Google Form to collect this information, which you can find at the end of this post.
Please add as many books to the list as you like.
Just one, a collection, your personal favourites. Any books from any time, modern or classic, it doesn’t matter.
About 7 or 8 years ago, a colleague and I sat down and wrote a list (we kept it to Fiction) of some of the books we thought were must reads.
The list was split into 3 sections:
- Younger Readers/Simple Picture Books
- Books for all
- Books for Older/Stronger Readers
This was all quite loosely sorted, lots of my other school colleagues argued, it didn’t matter – the discussion was useful! It was never designed to be a complete list, nor was it that because a book wasn’t on the list, I didn’t a) like it or b) think a child should read it.
This was suggested to me, at one point and I explained that it was impossible to write a list of every book ever written that a child could/should/must read.
They calmed down when I said they didn’t HAVE to agree with me.
As teacher’s often do I proceeded to spend a small fortune at car boot sales, second hand book shops and on eBay, buying the books on my list, in order to create a Class Library of recommended reads. I know I shouldn’t, let’s not go there, but I have a problem with books – they just sort of find their way (legally) home with me! I have too many, if that’s possible, to fit in my study and they have filled sections of my loft too!
Anyway, the children (Y6) devoured them!
Some had never seen ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ (Can you believe it!?), some actually cried when I read them ‘Dogger’ for the first time. When I showed them Rik Mayall’s portrayal of George’s Marvellous Medicine from Jackanory (You have to love YouTube!), they were transfixed by a genius StoryTeller at work.
I will bravely share that list from 2006 here.
Do you think it’s a fair list? Is there anything obviously missing? Anything you consider undeserving?
Please use the Comment Section to discuss.
|Each Peach, Pear, Plum||Allan Ahlberg|
|A Gift from Winklesea||Helen Cresswell|
|Flat Stanley||Jeff Brown|
|George Speaks||Dick King-Smith|
|The “Happy Family” series||Allan Ahlberg|
|Owl Babies||Martin Waddell|
|Not Now Bernard||David McKee|
|3 Little Wolves & the Big Bad Pig||Helen Oxenbury|
|The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business||Werner Holzwarth|
|Green Eggs and Ham||Dr. Seuss|
|The Trouble with…||Babette Cole|
|The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark||Jill Tomlinson|
|The Very Hungry Caterpillar||Eric Carle|
|Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf||Catherine Storr|
|Stanley Bagshaw||Bob Wilson|
|The Mousehole Cat||Antonia Barber|
|Handa’s Surprise||Eileen Brown|
|The Patchwork Quilt||Valerie Flournoy|
|Fungus the Bogeyman||Raymond Briggs|
|Little Wolf’s Book of Badness||Ian Whybrow|
|George’s Marvellous Medicine||Roald Dahl|
|The Giraffe, the Pelly, and me||Roald Dahl|
|The Piemakers||Helen Cresswell|
|Follow That Bus||Pat Hutchins|
|Diary of a Killer Cat||Anne Fine|
|Grandpa Chatterji||Jamila Gavin|
|The Worst Witch||Jill Murphy|
|Bill’s New Frock||Anne Fine|
|The Iron Man||Ted Hughes|
|The Magic Finger||Roald Dahl|
|The Owl Tree||Jenny Nimmo|
|The Fib and Other Stories||George Layton|
|The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Other Stories||Roald Dahl|
|The Terbulent Term of Tyke Tiler||Gene Kemp|
|The 2000lb Goldfish||Betsy Byers|
|The Fox Busters||Dick King-Smith|
|Charlie and the Chocolate Factory||Roald Dahl|
|War Boy||Michael Rosen|
|How the Whale Became & Other Stories||Ted Hughes|
|The Happy Prince||Jane Ray|
|The Guard Dog||Dick King-Smith|
|The Clothes Horse & Other Stories||Allan Ahlberg|
|Boy & Going Solo||Roald Dahl|
|Charlotte’s Web||E.B. White|
|The Midnight Fox||Betsy Byers|
|1001 Arabian Nights||Geraldine McCaughrean|
|Stig of the Dump||Clive King|
|The Butterfly Lion||Michael Morpurgo|
|Kensuke’s Kingdom||Michael Morpurgo|
|Treasure Island||Adapted by Chris Mould|
|101 Dalmations||Dodie Smith|
|5 Children and It||E. Nesbit|
|The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe||C.S. Lewis|
|The Wind in the Willows||Kenneth Grahame|
|Carrie’s War||Nina Bawden|
In the meantime, please make a contribution or two to the Recommended Booklist on the Google form.
I will publish the list once there are enough to share.
After a discussion with Pie Corbett and Brian Moses on Twitter this afternoon I was directed to this resource:
Collated by Pie Corbett, it is a scaled sequence of possible reading by Year Group.
A useful reference piece I thought.
Posted on 06/08/2014, in T&L and tagged advice, author, books, classroom, education, experience, EYFS, fiction, KS1, KS2, learning, LKS2, narrative, primary, pupils, read, reading, recommended, school, share, story, teaching, title, UKS2. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.